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Select and Edit all rows in SQL Server Management Studio

sqlserver select all rows

If you use SQL Server Management Studio often, you will have noticed that from the context menu that is displayed when right clicking on a table, there are two options (among the others) namely Select Top 1000 Rows and Edit Top 200 Rows.

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The purpose of these menu options are self-evident. But wouldn’t you like to be able to select or edit all the rows in a table?

SQL Server Select all Rows

As mentioned earlier, the standard way of selecting rows is to select only the top 1000 rows.

The good news is that you can change this default selection to whatever you like by following these steps:

  • Click on Tools in the menu, and then Options
  • Select SQL Server Object Explorer. From the options on the right-hand side, look for the fields Value for Edit Top <n>Rows Command and
    Value for Select Top <n> Rows Command.
  • Set both these values to 0

You can obviously change the values for each as you wish (for example 2000 for select top 2000 rows), but if you would like to select and edit all the rows, change these values to 0

SQL Server Select all rows options

Selecting all Rows in SSMS

Now if you go back into SQL Server Management Studio and right click on a table, you will see that the Context Menu options have changed to Select All Rows and Edit All Rows.

Menu options changed to select all

The idea behind this (for me anyway) is purely from a developer’s perspective. I want to be able to edit and select all the available data.

Dirk Strauss
Dirk is a Software Developer and Microsoft MVP from South Africa. He loves all things Technology and is slightly addicted to Twitter and Jimi Hendrix. Apart from writing code, he also enjoys writing human readable articles. "I love sharing knowledge and connecting with people from around the world. It's the diversity that makes life so beautiful." Dirk feels very strongly that pizza is simply not complete without Tabasco, that you can never have too much garlic, and that cooking the perfect steak is an art he has yet to master.

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